My brush pen an I have come together to give you.... more badly drawn comics about my life!
Richard and I have been reading aloud together on and off since before we got engaged. It is a lot of fun, but there are problems that you only get when reading out loud with someone, rather than just silently all by yourself.
For example, I have chosen most of the books we have read together, so usually I know what is going to happen or what isn't being said. And sometimes I ruin it. Yes, I'm terrible.
And of course, when you read out loud you have to give all the characters unique voices, right? I'm actually not so good at this, but Richard can really get into it.
For the record: Setheris had the most. annoying. voice. ever.
While Richard is better at the voices, I am more careful about my inflections, especially when words are italicized or otherwise emphasized in the text. Also, since I've read most of these books before, I have an idea in my head of how the words should be pronounced. Because of course my way is the right way. Obviously.
In addition to reading aloud requiring some acting skills, it also just takes longer than reading silently. Richard has this habit of forgetting to read the words out loud when a really exciting part comes, leaving me hanging.
Which is especially annoying because I have never ever read ahead without him! Even when I'm at home all day with the book and really really really want to know what happens next. (Never mind that I've already read of them. With some of them it has been long enough that I've forgotten.)
More on reading aloud:
When I was preparing for college, I was understandably nervous and excited about several things. One thing I thought a lot about was my future roommates. Would we get along? What if we just couldn’t stand each other? Would we argue about stupid things? And of course, I hoped that I could be friends with my roommates. I daydreamed about the things that we might do together. Many things I daydreamed about were pretty normal--watch movies together, hang out together, make food together, tell each other all our deepest secrets. But one thing near the top of my list was pretty strange--I daydreamed about roommates who not only liked the same books as me, but roommates who would let me read out loud to them, and maybe even read to me too.
Long story short, I got them. Needless to say, my college experience was pretty awesome overall, largely thanks to them.
Of course, roommates weren’t the only thing I daydreamed about. Like many college girls, I daydreamed about the guy I would eventually marry. How would I meet him? What would we do on our first date? How soon would I KNOW he was the one?
I had a (rather short!) list of desirable qualities in a future husband. But again, there was an item on that list that was pretty strange.
You can probably guess what it was.
Yes. I wanted a husband who not only liked the same books as me, but a husband who would let me read out loud to him, and maybe even read to me too.
Well, guess what. I found him. I will admit, when we were dating and I first pitched the idea to him he was kind of skeptical, but he was a good sport. Pretty soon he realized what a brilliant idea it was. He proposed not long after. (Not that the reading together was the thing that really made him excited to buy that ring, but it didn’t seem to hurt my cause at all.)
We haven’t kept very careful track of the books we’ve read, these are the ones I remember, in more or less the right order:
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (started before we got engaged, didn’t finish until after the honeymoon--weddings are time consuming!)
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (Richard does the BEST Temeraire voice.)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Richard had to do all the Miss Lupescu lines because I just can’t do the accent.)
Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, and Clariel by Garth Nix
Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad’s Fate, and the Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (We’re only a few chapters in so far…. this one will take awhile.)
Twelve in about a year. Not bad. We’ll see how well we can keep this up through the craziness that is life.
I will admit, all these books were chosen by me. I’m pickier about what I read than he is, and I love re-reading while he doesn’t. So, I choose books that I know that I like and think he will probably like, because I’ve read them and I know him. Suggestions are welcome, however. What book do you love that would make a great Read Aloud, and why?
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